February 14, 2022
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has broken rank with Trudeau and announced the end of indoor capacity limits and vaccine passports by the beginning of March.
During a news conference, Ford said, "Like all of you, I've waited a long time for this news, but please never doubt that the steps we took together, as difficult as they were, were absolutely necessary and saved tens of thousands of lives."
Ford continued, asserting that the measures were always meant to be temporary.
"The extraordinary measures that we introduced during this pandemic were always intended as a last resort. I stood at this very podium and promised you that these tools would only be used for as long as they were absolutely necessary and not one day longer."
This news comes as a shock to many, as Ford has been virulently opposed to truckers and other Canadians participating in the ongoing, peaceful Freedom Convoy, which many hope will lead to the removal of all restrictions and mandates.
While the pivot towards a freer Ontario will undoubtedly relieve many protesters who feel their rights and freedoms have been infringed upon, the news comes with an unfortunate twist.
Earlier today, it was revealed that PM Justin Trudeau convened with the Premiers to discuss implementing the Emergencies Act, which will grant Trudeau unprecedented powers to deal with protesters.
As the CBC, Canada's state-run media, puts it, "The law empowers Ottawa to do just about anything it thinks is necessary to cope with a crisis."
Ford also addressed this possibility, stating, in no unclear terms, that he will support the PM if he chooses to follow through on implementing the Act.
"But I will tell you, I'll support the federal government in any proposals they have to bring law and order back to our province, to make sure we stabilize our businesses and trade around the world, as the world is watching us right now, wondering if it's a stable environment to open up businesses and expand businesses," Ford said, before maligning peaceful protesters as occupiers.
The irony of Ford's own statements is apparently lost on him, as Canada, particularly Ontario, has been one of the least free places to do business on the planet, with capacity limits being in place for nearly two years, utterly stifling small business owners' ability to make a living.